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What You Don't Know About RFID Can ASTOUND you!

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 Patrick Redmond graduated with a Doctorate in History from the University of London, England in 1972. He taught at the University of the West Indies in Trinidad, then at  Adhadu Bello University in Kano, Nigeria before joining IBM.  He worked in IBM for 31 years before retiring. During his career at IBM he held a variety of jobs. These included; from 1992 until 2007 working at the IBM Toronto lab in technical, then in sales support. He has written two books and numerous articles. Here is a presentation he gave in Toronto on April 13, 2008.

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I want to thank Yvon for inviting me here to talk about new technologies. What I’m going to do is give you an introduction to three technologies that are becoming more and more important. The first is RFID chips, the second genetic engineering, and the third synthetic biology. This will give you an understanding of what is happening and where science is going.

We will start with RFID chips:

So what are they? They are Radio Frequency Identification Devices. An RFID is a microchip with an attached antenna. The microchip contains stored information which can be transmitted to a reader and then to a computer.

RFID’s can be passive, semi-passive or active. Active RFID’s have an internal power source such as a battery. This allows the tag to send signals back to the reader, so if I have a RFID on me and it has a battery, I can just send a signal to a reader wherever it is. They can receive and store data, and be read at a further distance than the passive RFID’s. The batteries can only last a short while. But the current batteries in the RFID’s can last for over a hundred years, because of their self-generating power. Ultrawideband (UWB) allows the small battery operated RFID tag to be sensed over fairly wide areas. For instance, GE Aircraft Engines in Ohio has installed five readers in the factory and it covers over 30,000 square feet so they can track everything within that area with only the five readers. That gives you an idea of the distance that can be covered by an RFID tag that might be on you or on equipment.

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